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"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown

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~Jesse Stuart

"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf

Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Gothic Novel

The true GOTHIC NOVEL is a novel in which magic, mystery, and chivalry are the chief characteristics. Where a suit of armor may suddenly come to life among ghosts and clanking chains. Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley's Frankenstein is an example of the genre. The novels of Charlotte Bronte and the mystery and horror type of short story exploited by Edgar Allen Poe contain materials and devices traceable to the GOTHIC NOVEL.

The term is today often applied to works, such as Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca, that lack the Gothic setting or the medieval atmosphere but that attempt to create the same atmosphere of brooding and unknown terror as the true GOTHIC NOVEL.  It is also applied to a host of currently popular tales of "damsels in distress" in strange and terrifying locales. Author Isak Dinesen has used the term "Gothic" in titles to indicate simultaneously a literal setting in northern Europe and a fantastic spirit combining horror, crime, romance, and realism.


(This post has been inspired by and in some instances, directly quoted from A Handbook to Literature, 8th Edition, by William Harmon and C. Hugh Holman)

32 comments:

  1. I always thought I'd like to try one of these some day - writing one, I mean.

    We'll see.

    Good post.

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  2. There's also a cool Ken Russell movie called Gothic about Mary Shelley and the origins of Frankenstein.

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  3. I love the information about gothic novels. i think that it would be great fun to write a gothic story.

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  4. OH fabulous samples of supreme gothic-ness!!!!! Yay!!!! Take care
    x

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  5. I never thought of Daphne du Maurier and the Brontes as a Gothic Novelist. I always classed Poe and Shelly in this cat orgy. I will have to readjust my thinking on this Genre. Thanks Karen!

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  6. Interesting post, thanks for sharing. I'll have to check out these authors, except Poe, I've read a lot of his stuff. =)

    http://tigeronmybookshelf.blogspot.com/

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  7. Gothic novels are wonderful, been a long time since I read a good one. Nice post.

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  8. Did you happen to see the National Theatre Performance of Frankenstein? I watched it broadcast to a cinema here in Canada last week and it was absolutely superb!

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  9. Bronte, huh? I never would have thought of Jane Eyre as Gothic. Interesting.

    Now I want to read some classic British horror.

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  10. I kind of love the whole gothic thing, it's so victorian.

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  11. Love gothic novels, and it's a genre women flourish in. Just finished reading 'Affinity' by Sarah Waters; an absolutely fantastic gothic novel.

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  12. I really enjoyed "Haunting Miss Trentwood" by Belinda Kroll, a Bronte like story with a ghost.

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  13. I'm reading Jane Eyre right now (and am going to go see the new movie after I finish)... I love Gothic literature.

    The Gothic era is cool because it's one of the first times women really made a dent in what had been male dominated literature. I think these books have influenced many many modern writers - women and men alike.

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  14. very cool. I'm enjoying all your posts about literary terms. Thanks for the refreshers and the new stuff, too! :o) <3

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  15. I took a fashion class in college (don't ask...I needed a filler) and I had to do a report on the gothic subculture and one of the things I talked about was Gothic novels. It's all very interesting.

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  16. This a great series you are doing for the challenge. I hadn't heard of this genre before (hangs head). Thanks for educating me.

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  17. Hi, Karen, I think I would enjoy writing in the Gothic genre, at least spooky genre. Goodness knows, I grew up on spooky stories and have read so much, and my imagination is not lacking, so who knows, I may try it some day.
    Thanks for your visits. Ruby

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  18. I'm very sad, I had to drop out of the challenge. But, I'm still following you and would like to "Spotlight" your blog on mine at some point. Good to meet you and thanks for the opportunity.
    Aloha
    Toby

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  19. Hmmm, I never thought of "Jane Eyre" as a gothic piece. Interesting. Thank you, ma'am, for another great post.

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  20. I wrote a Gothic for my 2010 NaNo. It's a fun genre and I enjoyed writing it. :)

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  21. I'd love to try a Gothic Novel myself.

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  22. Donna, same here! and NaNo would be a prime time to do it. *thanks Liz P for the idea!*

    Toby, sorry you are dropping out but it is kind of a tough one. My problem isn't posting daily but getting around to visit blogs because Blogger is acting crazy lately.

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  23. I devoured Gothic novels as a teen.

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  24. Closest I've come to Gothic is a kind of Southern Gothic novella which I actually love. It's so much fun to stretch yourself and try something new...

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  25. Awesome Never thought of gothic in this light. Thanks for the novel references, I'll have to read up on the genre. Sounds like fun to read/write in.

    ......dhole

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  26. I really loved reading this post and and the comments are superb thanks. Can't wait to update my reading list. Yay...

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  27. I love reading gothic novels, but I don't think I could write one.

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  28. I don't read much Gothic, but do end up writing Gothic-ish short stories sometimes!

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  29. I love all things gothic - but I have to admit I haven't yet read Frankenstein. It's on my to-read shelf though :D

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  30. Gothic really isn't a favorite of mine but it is fascinating to learn about. I'll see it differently now as I read it.

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  31. May I add Norah Lofts to the list of Gothic novelists. Her stuff is fabulous!

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  32. I love the Gothic references in Northanger Abbey :O)

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